Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2, Friday in Memes #24

The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 
This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
      Do you own more than one copy of a book? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
My Answer:
      I am not guilty of this "bookish sin". Unfortunately, I do not have enough space for books and there is no point to keep a couple of copies of the same book, I just choose the prettiest edition and leave it on the shelves. The only exceptions are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin, which I have in English and Czech, and Russian and German languages respectively for language learning purposes.

Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader. A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. 
The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

My Book Beginnings:
 ‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
‘It’s so dreadful to be poor!’ sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My 56:
There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.
Outline: I must confess that the writing does not do anything to me. The 56 extract is a bit sad and knowing the story of Beth, I can see that the author started to prepare us to the sad events straight from the beginning of the book.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Final Diagnosis| Strong Medicine| The Evening News by Arthur Hailey

Author: Arthur Hailey
Original title: The Final Diagnosis
Pages: 164
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction
Goodreads

Blurb:    
   A look at the workings of a modern day hospital through the lens of the pathologists department.

  My thoughts: 
    I simply love this one. Unable to put down the book. Once you are into it, you are hooked. I read this book multiple times and always find it impactful.
      The duration of the story is short, but the author manages to give a life history of all the main characters. It is fast paced with extremely interesting characters thrown into realistic episodes. The descriptions are so vivid one can actually visualise things happening in front of your eyes.
       A story  is told through the perspective of a pathology lab. We don't quite value pathologists enough, always reserving our praise for the kind physicians and fancy surgeons. Of course, a lot of things changed from the times the novel was written, everything is computerized and faster, but if skip the outdated facility, you can see the work that is done and the importance of it for the functionality of the hospital in general.
Rating:  
    4/5  

Author: Arthur Hailey 
Original title: Strong Medicine
Pages: 265
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction

Blurb:    
   Miracle drugs save lives and ease suffering, but for profit-motivated companies, the miracle is the money they generate...at any cost.  Billions of dollars in profits will make men and women do many things--lie, cheat, even kill.  now one beautiful woman will be caught in the cross fire between ethics and profits.

  My thoughts: 
    First of all, this book took forever to read, because of the way it was written. The writing is passive and too many years are covered. You can easily recognize the well-rounded characters and lots of inside info that Hailey is so good at.  I have read, that Hailey writes from some experience, after medical issues of his own, and also throws in plenty of brand names and current events to keep this topical.
     Secondly, the main character is absolutely unbelievable: too many ups and downs in the life of Celia Jordan and in frequent succession. She is too perfect and I had a hard time believing her decisions and actions to be realistic for a person at the top of the ladder.
     Overall, it was a really long and dull read, trying to cover so many topics that you lose the connection to the main characters and the plot. 
Rating:  
    2/5  

Author: Arthur Hailey
Original title: The Evening News
Pages: 543
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction

Blurb:    
   This passionate, terrifying drama takes us behind the scenes of a great television network faced with mortal dangers and moral challenges as it collides with a smaller but equally potent force--the most feared terrorist group in the Americas.

  My thoughts: 
    I've read most of Arthur Hailey novels before this one, and this is by far the worst one. The only reason I finished it was because I wanted to tick it off the list. Most of it is just mindless ramble, with little content focused on the workings of the news network.  I did not care about any of the characters. The action sequences and who solved the problems seemed ridiculous and forced.  
Rating:  
    2/5  

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WWW Wednesday and Library Loot, July 31

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.
Description: WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share answers Below questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

This month I am reading through my Russian and classics lists, that is why some of the books do not have an English translation.

I am currently reading 1 book:

1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

I have finished:
1. Scarlet Sails by Aleksandr Grin
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
4. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

I am planning to start with the following book:
1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Hosted by: The Captive Reader and Silly Little Mischief
Description: Library Loot is a weekly event that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I got no books from the library this week.


Monday, July 29, 2019

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Original title: What Alice Forgot
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Caroline Lee
Duration: 15h34m
Goodreads

Blurb:
    Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

My thoughts:
       Alice has a fall at the gym and loses her memory of the last 10 years. I really enjoyed how the story was told through Alice's eyes as I learned how she has changed and also the people around her as she pieces the events of the last 10 years together. She remembers the people around her and their situations as they were 10 years ago and given little clues which creates the mystery of how the events of their lives have changed and shaped into who they are today.
    This fiction covers a broad array of topics, including divorce, death, infertility and a complete breakdown of the family unit. Actually, I liked how the infertility topic was dealt with. I never questioned this issue and had a vague idea what women are going through. In the book I saw a scary picture of obsession that shapes your life in all aspects starting with your sexual life and finishing with your perсeption of the world itself, splitting it into two militant camps. Very complicated and disturbing topic.
      The whole "Alice situation" made me think a lot, how we give in to the flow of time and get lost in everyday life, getting far and far away from us - young and purposeful, ambitious and full of great plans. It is not that we are pathetic nowadays, but how life changes and how it shapes up our demands and expectations. The main challenge here is to look at yourself with your younger eyes and say truly if you are happy with what you see. So those kind of questions were popping up in my mind, while I listen to this book, which is a very nice and funny read with a lot of dramatic turns, but still quite enjoyable.
Rating: 
         4/5 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Post #50, Crazy Weather

The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday fun, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. 

 Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together-at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones-and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. See below for how to join the Salon.
   



Something new
      This week the weather was playing tricks again, we had thunderstorms 3 days in a row, all the time, day and night... I do not remember such weather in the mountains, usually there are one-two thunderstorms during a season not more.
      I did not like participating in Reading Rush 2019 readalong, but there was so much fuss about it, so I wanted to try. When it is too much information and community involvement it is not so good for reading. I was checking the site and news, and watch my favourite booktubers, then I was checking challenges and was upset that I cannot produce such nice content and photos. It is not what I search in reading challenges. So I guess next year I will not bother. I did finish a couple of books though, but I did not post too much on the blog, unfortunately.

Last on the Blog 
Next on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review 3 books by by Arthur Hailey
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #13

I am currently reading 1 book:
1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

I have finished:
1. Scarlet Sails by Aleksandr Grin
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
4. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
 Newcomers on my Shelf
I am not buying or taking any book this summer, in order to reduce my physical TBR)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Author: John Green 
Original title: The Fault in Our Star
Pages: 456
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Format: paperbook
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads

Blurb:    
   Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
     Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


My thoughts: 
    The story centers around a young girl named Hazel, she is suffering from terminal cancer. Hazel meets a boy named Augustus, he also has cancer. The connection between these two main characters is wonderful. They grasp the meaning of death and are yet still fearful of it, they know they will eventually die but then so does everyone.  Hazel and Gus are actually great characters, I really liked them and I liked their conversations. John Green does have a way with dialogue, that is where his strength lies.
There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you are sixteen, and that's having a kid who bites it from cancer.
     I cried like a baby while reading it and gave it 4 starts. I though realized the point of the book and generally I do not like tearjerkers.  It just was very obvious from chapter one that there was one purpose, and one purpose only to this plot. To be sad. Take away the emotional aspect, and there really isn't a lot left. It was about cancer, so you knew it would be sad. There were no twists, no mystery, nothing out of the ordinary. Even if you just really love tearjerkers, there are many other sad books out there that are written to provoke more emotion. But there was nothing creative about the story. I do not like cancer being exploited for entertainment and profit... but still...this book hit me hard on an emotional level.
 Rating:  
    4/5 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

June 2019 Wrap up

Read books: 
read: 13/ listen: 0/ pages: 4899/ hours listened: 0
1. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus p. 336 ***
2. The Wicked King by Holly Black p. 448  ***
3. Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø p. 256  ***
4. Scythe by Neal Shusterman p.448 **
5. The Captain's Daughter by Alexander Pushkin p.138  ****
6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline p. 480 ***
7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff p. 602 ****
8. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab p. 256 **
9. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman,  Meagan Spooner p. 384 ****
10. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips p. 432 **
11. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire p. 224 **
12. Квест by Boris Akunin p. 656  ***
13. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer p. 239  ***

Movie watched:
1. Ready Player One (2018) re-watch ***
2. Echelon Conspiracy (2009) re-watch **
3. Men in Black: International (2019) **
4. Happy!  Season 2 - TV Series (2017–2019) ****

Challenges overview:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 40/52
2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge 30/50
Pages Read Challenge: 16028/24000
Audiobook Challenge: 5/15
Russian Literature: 4/30
World of Literature: 18/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: 12/20
Classics Club: 7/50

Monday, July 22, 2019

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Author: Paula Hawkins
Original title: Into the Water
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Audio book
Read by: Imogen Church, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Rachel Bavidge, Laura Aikman
Duration: 11h31m
Goodreads

Blurb:
      In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool

My thoughts:
       Firstly, this book is very different from The Girl on the Train. The ads that keeps saying "If you liked The Girl on the Train, you'll love Into the Water" are really far streched. Into the Water does not  focus in-depth on any character, but rather moves between the perspectives of many people.  It took me a while to wrap my head around this book. All the POVs made me confused for the first third of the book, I was trying to remember how they all fitted together.
     Secondly, while both books contain themes of memory and the limitations on its reliability, the mysteries feel very different. The mystery in Into the Water is not as susspense as in The Girl on the Train. It's more like a domestic thriller, with less tension and excitement. It was more of an examination of various ties between people in a small town, and how everyone was in some way linked to the woman found dead.
       I think this whole book was quieter, on the whole, than The Girl on the Train. The people were unlikable, and yet the stories were less dramatic; the climax less reveling. I never felt any excitement at the end, the book just drew gently to a close.
       All of that said, I had a hard time putting this one down and flew through it. It was a decent, worthwhile read, and I can’t say I wouldn't recommend.
Rating: 
         3/5 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Post #49, Quiet Summer retreat

The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday fun, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. 

Something new
      This week was quiet and slow in all spheres. I have not read lots giving in to the general sleepy mood caused by rainy weather. Most of the time I spent at my parents' summer home, picking berries, my favorites were gooseberries and black-current, so I guess my required level of vitamins is refilled.
The whole week internet was full of Reading Rush announcements and excitement that I finally gave up. I did not pick up all the books yet, but I am working on it. I will start with some novellas, that I was planning to read anyway and will see how it'll go on. Are you participating or just do not care?
Last on the Blog 
Next on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • On Tuesday I will publish June 2019 Wrap up
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #13
 Newcomers on my Shelf
I am not buying or taking any book this summer, in order to reduce my physical TBR)

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19, Friday in Memes #12


Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader. A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. 
The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

My Book Beginnings:
 Longren, a sailor of the Orion, a rugged, three-hundred ton brig on which he had served for ten years and to which he was attached more strongly than some sons are to their mothers, was finally forced to give up the sea.
My 56:
Goodreads
 Gray lay down by the fire, gazing at the water and the reflection of the flames. He was thinking, but effortlessly; in this condition one's mind, while observing one's surroundings absently, comprehends them but dimly; it rushes on like a stallion in a jostling herd, crushing and shoving aside, and halting; emptiness, confusion and delay
attend it in turn. It wanders within the souls of things; from bright agitation it hurries to secret intimations; passing from earth to sky, conversing on the subject of life with imaginary personages, snuffing out and embellishing one's memories. In this cloudy
movement all is live and palpable, and all is as loosely hung together as a hallucination.
Outline: I know what the story is about, but I have never read it in English. So it is quite interesting to read Grin's metaphors and allusions in translation. Most of his works have a captivating plot, but sometimes overloaded with some philosophical thinking, which I have difficulty to grasp. Scarlet Sails (or Crimson Sails) are the most popular work of Grin outside Russia, it is really short and quite beautiful. It is one of my childhood favourite.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Inkspell|Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

Author: Cornelia Funke
Original title: Tintenblut 
Pages: 683
Edition Language: Russian
Series: Inkworld #2
Format: ebook
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Author: Cornelia Funke
Original title: Tintentod
Pages: 672
Edition Language: Russian
Series: Inkworld #3
Format: ebook
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Blurb:    
   Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past.

  
My thoughts: 
       In Inkspell, I love the fact that we finally see the inkworld, as Meggie and Farid decide to embark on their journey to go after Dustfinger. It’s a world inhabited by fantastical creatures like fairies, glassmen, giants and speaking trees, but also human beings like the Black Prince, Clouddancer and Cosimo, the Fair.
       However, some of the plot points in this instalment are a little forced. With Capricorn out of the way, Cornelia Funke was in need of a new villain for this second instalment, and it almost seems like the Adderhead came as a second thought.
       Secondly, Meggie is only 13 and the entire romance between her and Farid is really annoying.   I thought Meggie's character suffered a tremendous loss in her falling in love with Farid. She became less independent and less self-reliant. Their relationship struck me as unbelievable and I just really think the whole little romance thing was way overplayed.

       Inkdeath was not my favorite of the series, but the writing was good. Honestly, I'd hoped for better. Don't let this put you off though. I definitely recommend Inkheart and Inkspell.
       What I really didn't like about the book is the way it jumped around. Dustfinger is alive, now he's "dead", now he's alive again. Then there was the whole transforming into animals thing. Where it came from? The ending was really rushed, and I kind of wish that the author had slowed down to explain some things and left out all of the unnecessary details that amounted to nothing in the end anyway.
Rating:  
    3/5  

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

WWW Wednesday and Library Loot, July 17

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.
Description: WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share answers Below questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

This month I am reading through my Russian and classics lists, that is why some of the books do not have an English translation.

I am currently reading 3 books:

1. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I have finished:
1. She Who Runs on the Waves by Aleksandr Grin
2. Jessie and Morgiana by Aleksandr Grin
3. Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman,  Dave McKean (Illustrator)

I am planning to start with the following book:
1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Hosted by: The Captive Reader and Silly Little Mischief
Description: Library Loot is a weekly event that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I got 2 books this week:
1.Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
2. Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman,  Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Crazy Hair I found somehow funny, but not particular entertaining.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

May 2019 Wrap up

Read books: 
read: 3/ listen: 0/ pages: 1909/ hours listened: 0 not counting books: 2
1. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman,  Chris Riddell p. 124
2. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson - DNFed p125/289
3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore,  Kevin O'Neill p.192
4. Hitman, Vol. 1: A Rage in Arkham by Garth Ennis,  John McCrea (Illustrator) - DNFed
5. Can Doctor Proctor Save Christmas? by Jo Nesbø - DNFed
6. Madame Bovary  by Gustave Flaubert p.338 - my review
7. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith p.605
8. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith p.650

Movie watched:
1. Down Periscope (1996) ****
2. A Walk to Remember (2002) ****
3. Becoming Jane (2007) *****
4. Vanity Fair - TV Mini-Series (2018) *****
5. Cranford -  TV Series (2007–2010) ****
6. Bird Box (2018) ***
7. Hot Pursuit (2015) **
8. Strike -Season 1 - TV Series (2017– ) ****

Challenges overview:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 37/52
2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge 20/40
Pages Read Challenge: 11129/24000
Audiobook Challenge: 5/15
Russian Literature: 3/30
World of Literature: 18/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: 11/20
Classics Club: 6/50

Monday, July 15, 2019

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Author: John Green
Original title: Looking for Alaska
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Jeff Woodman
Duration: 7h06m
Goodreads

Blurb:
  
Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up - and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and pain of living and loving unconditionally.
A vivid, passionate and intensely moving novel from internationally bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green.


My thoughts:
       Boring, it was so so terribly boring.
       I did not like the plot, I did not like the characters. Alaska was unbearable. She used her past as an excuse for her destructive behavior. Alaska’s friends enabled Alaska’s behavior because they didn’t stand up to her. In fact, they had destructive behavior that needed to be addressed as well. If a person is drinking too much, partying too hard, ignoring authority, breaking the rules, they have problems and those problems were not dealt well in this book.
      It's great if you loved the book, but I didn't. I found it pointless and shallow, too much smoking and drinking, to much talking and not telling. After Looking for Alaska, I read other John Green's books, and I liked some of them. It's sad that Looking for Alaska didn't work for me.

Rating: 
         2/5 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Post #48, Watch the Game

The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday fun, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. 

Something new
      This week I was closely following The 2019 Summer Universiade in Milan. Mostly I was watching athletics and volleyball. It was quite spectacular and not a bit worse them Olympics.
      Another event, I am following is 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League. So yesterday were semi-finals: Poland vs Russia (1:3) and United States vs. Brazil (3:2). And today is the final match for the gold medal between Russia and USA, which will be very exiting. The only problem is the time difference with US, so I will watch it rather late at night.
      Otherwise, it was quite a calm week. The weather changes rapidly and you can be freezing in the morning and sweating in the afternoon.
I have not been watching anything lately. There is a dead season in the cinemas and I do not have the mood for it, so reading it is)))

Last on the Blog 
Next on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • On Tuesday I will publish May 2019 Wrap up
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review Inkspell|Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #12
 Newcomers on my Shelf
I am not buying or taking any book this summer, in order to reduce my physical TBR)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Author: Kristin Hannah
Original title: The Great Alone
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Julia Whelan
Duration: 15h02m
Goodreads

Blurb:
   Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.
    Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
    Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown


My thoughts:
       This book was beautiful and devastating, I found myself so incredibly frustrated with the characters. Domestic violence, PTSD, coming of age story and it covers so many destinies and themes, and overall a pretty solid book, but...Kristin Hannah wrote 70% of a novel and then 30% of a soap opera.
      We get the story of Leni and her family. "The Great Alone" is set in the 1970s, and Leni’s father is a Vietnam War POW who suffers from nightmares and an explosive temper. It makes you wonder why he chooses to take his family to Alaska, which feels like the end of the world and where they definitely become as isolated as they can be.  So from this point the things are getting worse.  As the days creep toward winter, the main character’s father becomes increasingly paranoid. Instead of working with the townspeople to keep everyone alive through the winter, he suspects everyone and isolate his family from the rest of people even more. The relationships between the characters are so volatile, that they go from loving each other to abusing each other in seconds.
       Kristin Hannah brings the beauty and danger of Alaska to life and this is a great background for drama that is taking place. I love the nature descriptions. The small town is vivid and full of memorable characters. I liked Large Marge, but really hated the parents of Lani: absolutely worthless, selfish and spineless people, who did nothing for their child to have a childhood. They put their own petty arguments ahead of their child’s safety.
          So the first better part of the book was just excellent, but the end...  By the end, it was pure soap opera and over-the-top tragic. It spoiled the whole enjoyment of the book and left some unpleasant aftertaste. Still the first part was 5 star read!
Rating: 
         5/5 

Friday, July 12, 2019

July 12, Friday in Memes #11

The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 
This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
     What do you like/dislike about self-published works? (submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea)
My Answer:
      I did not happen to read a single self-published book. Most probably because there are so many published works, that I do not go lokking for something else. But if I would com across one, I gladly read it and see for myself.

Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader. A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. 
The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

My Book Beginnings:
Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o'clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more that a few yards away from the carriage windows.
My 56:
Goodreads
"Oh, dear me, I assure you there is no need to stand on ceremony with him," the general explained hastily. "He is quite a child, not to say a pathetic-looking creature. He has fits of some sort, and has just arrived from Swizerland, straight from the station, dressed like a German and without a farthing in his pocket. I gave him twenty-five roubles to go on with, and am going to find him some easy place in one of the government offices. I should like you to ply him well with the victuals, my dears, for I should think he must be very hungry."
Outline: The beginning of the book is quite grey, there is only indication of the place, but the rest is so vague and blurry, indicating, I guess, the possibility of this story happening anytime and anywhere. The "56" extract is quite interesting, as it is probably the description of "the idiot" by someone of position and power. I can only compliment on general's compassion and intention to help.